It has become a tradition now to kick off the new year with a bread-dedicated post. After all, I am a self-confessed avid baker (read “bread-baking addict”) and very little else elevates my culinary spirit to blissful excitement more than kneading, beating and shaping a starchy good. I have spent the last couple of weeks back home, visiting family and gorging on love, food and wine and I have been inspired to fight the seasonal sense of laziness and get back into the kitchen (my mum’s, to be precise, as I am still in Milan), after trying a truly wonderful flat bread at Agriturismo Troilo, in Colle Zingaro, in the Abruzzo region (pictured at the bottom of the page), a few miles away from when my mum is from. Antonina, the talented home-cook who runs the place with grace and a true respect to the authenticity of regional food, didn’t shy away from giving me her recipe, which required 4 ingredients only: oil (good, local EVOO), OO flour, water and salt. The right ratio of those humble ingredients, provides a flaky, pastry-like dough, that crumbles in your mouth as you blissfully stuff it with morsels of home-made salami all happily washed down with a drop of Moltepulciano. It is similar to the recipe Signora Matilde once gave me (which I posted here), and just as good. Those Abruzzese women are a treasure trove of home-cooking secrets and it is vital to pass them on to make sure they are available to the generations to follow.
I have adapted Antonina’s recipes, using beer instead of water, for a slightly more robust flavor and to allow the natural yeast in beer to rise the bread slightly in the oven. Also, I have used a locally produced EVOO, so rich and intense its color is a vibrant hue of emerald green.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2-1/2 cups of OO flour (or plain flour)+ some for heading the dough
3/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (I know, it’s a little extravagant, but it will impart the bread the most beautiful flavor. I wouldn’t advise replacing it for vegetable oil)
a little less than 3/4 cup of beer
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
Combine flour, oil, beer and salt in a bowl, and mix with a spoon until a dough forms. Knead the dough onto floured surface for 3-4 minutes until soft nd smooth.
It should be pliable and a little softer than egg-pasta dough. If it feels too sticky add a little extra flour. If too dry, add a little extra beer.
Oil a baking dish and flatten the dough onto it. Score the dough with a pastry cutter to create a criss-cross pattern.
Once the bread is baked and slightly cooled, the scoring will make it easier to cut in chunks. Bake at 200 C (395 F), conventional oven, for 30-35 minutes or until the top is bronzed and crunchy.
Cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, then carefully lift out of the baking dish, break up into chunks and serve with cold cuts of meat and cheese for the ultimate antipasto.
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- Recipe: Authentic Italian Chickpea Flat Bread (inpursuitofmore.com)
- Sweet Flat Bread (deliciosobystacy.wordpress.com)
- Flat Italian Bread (deliciosobystacy.wordpress.com)
13 Comments Add yours
Love , Love This Site …am in Rome Now Enjoying the Food and Love.. But Home To Napa, California soon..
How great James! Have fun and let me know if you need restaurant tips! ps Love, LOVE Napa…
If you have restaurant tips for Rome that would be great we will be there mid June.
Dear Christine, get in touch closer to your trip and I’ll give a good list!
Just beautiful, and, I know delicious, Silvia…I always love your recipes and stories…just being at your blog sweeps me away to never never land! xo Ally
Ally girl! Always there when I post! I wish I could send you some… xxxx
This sounds just delizioso! I can’t wait to try it. If only I had the home made salame to go with it….x
That looks delizioso Silvia. If only I had the home made salame to go with it…x
I know, that salami is truly divine….
Love this recipe! As I love all your recipes, this looks delicious.
Grazie Bella! xx
Scusa ma ci hai messo anche l’acqua? e quanta ce ne va?
Ciao Elena. No, solo birra e olio. Ciao!